By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
By Dennis Romero
CATHERINE GUND (documentary filmmaker, Hallelujah!)
John Grayson [After the Bath] -- he never let the limitations of the media stop him from expressing himself. When a form of expression occurred to him, he found a way to put it on the screen. He was a pioneer in that way. So was Sue Fredrikson [Black and White], in a different way. She used the medium less, she twisted it less, but didn't shy away from putting what she wanted on the screen.
STEPHEN GUTWILLIG (executive director, Outfest)
Todd Haynes is one of our most important filmmakers, and Velvet Goldmine  is his least appreciated, most gorgeous film. It captures the period of glam rock with more energy and eroticism than anyone would have thought possible and also seems to me to tie together 100 years of queer history. It's an enormous triumph.
CHARLES HERMAN-WURMFELD (filmmaker, Kissing Jessica Stein)
There are so many movies, yet, in a way, so few movies. The Celluloid Closet [1995; Robert Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, directors], based on the Vito Russo book, is the one that helps me understand what gay movies are, that makes me say I'm only going to make queer movies.
ANDREW HOLLERAN (novelist, Dancer From the Dance and In September, the Light Changes)
For me, growing up in the '50s, it was the Danny Kaye movies, like On the Riviera [1951; Walter Lang, director]. Kaye was so fey, so quick-witted and alive. And he could dance! Oh, and there were the pirate movies. So many pirate movies. All those half-dressed men with their chests all oiled up. Just wonderful. For real movies, of course, there's Suddenly Last Summer[1959; Joseph L. Mankiewicz, director] and that terrifying sequence when Sebastian is being pursued to his death by street urchins -- a gay man who's made the wrong pickup one time too many.
DAN IRELAND (filmmaker, The Whole Wide World, The Velocity of Gary)
Gallipoli, directed by Peter Weir. It's a gay movie. I'm sorry, but it is. It's about two guys [Mel Gibson and Mark Lee] in love, with one who wants to be with the other so badly that he sacrifices his life in the end. It's so beautiful. They're so much in love. Peter knew what he was doing. I don't think Mel did. Just the scene where they climb up the pyramid, and they're sitting there watching the sun go down and the camera lingers on them, just sitting there next to each other, smoking a cigarette. I mean . . . call it what you want.
ALEXANDRA JUHASZ (co-producer, Watermelon Woman)
I'm more interested in documentary than narrative film, and the films that come to mind are those that pushed new boundaries and broke newä ground for other filmmakers to follow. Marlon Riggs' Tongues Untied , an amazing documentary that mixes traditional and avant-garde filmmaking styles, and does important work for minority groups and the minoritized gay community. It was the object of national political debate, and it worked at both the local and national levels to give exposure to the issues in the gay and black communities. Also Gregg Araki's The Living End , which is a brilliant film out of his interesting body of work. It's important for where it pushed HIV/AIDS representation in films, as well as for its portrayal of gay male sexuality. And Senorita Extraviada  by Lourdes Portillo, an examination of misogyny and masculine culture, about a town in Mexico where poor working-class women are being murdered. It's a beautiful, really smart film.
MOISÉS KAUFMAN (founder and artistic director of Tectonic Theater Project; filmmaker, The Laramie Project)
MICHAEL KEARNS (actor, director, acting coach)
I remember seeing Some Like It Hot [1959; Billy Wilder, director] as a kid and being completely entranced by the idea that these men were wearing women's clothing. And by Marilyn Monroe in her every scintillating moment. But it was the last line of the movie [spoken by Joe E. Brown to Tony Curtis], "Nobody's perfect," that really hit me, that sent out some sort of message that whoever you're attracted to is okay, as long as it's genuine. That's what went into my little head.
SHANNON KELLEY (director of programming, Outfest)
I finally saw Parting Glances [1986; Bill Sherwood, director] one night a few years after it was released, on a fuzzy, pirated cable station. I was still in the closet then. And even though the picture quality wasn't good, I drank in as much of it as I could. It was thrilling. Here was a social world that had its own beauty and its own way of absorbing pain, where people supported each other. It would be another several years before I finally did come out, but I think of that film as having been a personal resource for me. It gave me hope.
ROBERT LEE KING (filmmaker, Psycho Beach Party)
My favorite lesbian movie is Bound [1996; Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, directors], because that scene where Gina Gershon is fixing Jennifer Tilly's sink actually gave me a movie boner, which I didn't think was possible in a lesbian movie. And, of course, Scarlett O'Hara remains a great inspiration.